VATICAN CITY, JULY 12, 2001 (Zenit.org).- A new Vatican document offers pastoral guidelines in the field of tourism.
Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and the council´s secretary, Archbishop Francesco Gioia, presented the document entitled “Reflections on the Pastoral Mission of Tourism.”
The document summarizes Church teachings of the past 30 years on the phenomenon.
Archbishop Hamao said that the Church has kept abreast of this aspect “of the modern history of humanity, convinced of the great opportunities that tourism offers the individual and the collectivity.”
“A very powerful economic structure has been constructed in the service of tourism, an industry of globalizing dynamics, which has called for the involvement of political authorities and social organizations,” he said Wednesday. “The spectacular development of tourism, its special impact on relations between rich and poor countries, calls for permanent and creative vigilance on the part of the international community.”
“The challenge is for tourism to be an instrument in the service of the person, both of the individual as well as of peoples,” the archbishop added.
Archbishop Gioia noted that tourism “is one of the most characteristic phenomena of present-day society.”
He cited figures from the World Tourism Organization. Tourism last year increased by 50 million tourists, or 7.4%, from 1999. It increased 6.2% in Europe, to 403 million arrivals.
The 26-page document relates tourism to four points of reference: free time, the person, society and the Christian conception of the world.